Former Rep. Steve Brown's plea for leniency in his sentencing can no longer be viewed by the public.
U. S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson approved a motion from Brown's attorney Thursday to seal the memorandum, which was first revealed in the Nov. 4 Turner Report. Apparently, the memorandum was a bit embarrassing for Brown, who resigned his Missouri House seat Aug. 25 after pleading guilty to felony election conspiracy charges.
The sentencing for Brown, a St. Louis Democrat and former assistant attorney general under Jay Nixon, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, in St. Louis.
The now-sealed document suggested Brown should receive a lighter sentence because he cooperated with the FBI to nail his co-conspirators former Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, and Smith's treasurer in his unsuccessful 2004 race for Congress, Nick Adams:
He was not charged in a second conspiracy count (as were two other defendants) for the reason that at all times involving that count he was not a participant in any wrongful conduct but in fact was acting in cooperation with and at the direction of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. When first interviewed by the FBI Agents concerning the circumstances relating to a cover up to thwart an inquiry being conducted by the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Brown was immediately forthright and completely
truthful. He realized that what he had done to help derail the review being conducted by the Federal Election Commission was unlawful and morally wrong as well.
Consequently, without hesitation he endeavored to remedy the situation as best he could by being candid and completely truthful with the agents. He also actively participated in cooperation with them in the furtherance of their investigation.
Brown offered recommendations on how he could serve the community better through pro bono work, though not as a lawyer since he has surrendered his license. He also noted that he had to resign from the House of Representatives and from a position as a trustee of Blackburn College:
When considering the aforementioned consequences taken together with the embarrassment and humiliation suffered by Mr. Brown by reason of the high profile of this matter, it seems that the Court’s duty to impose a sentence sufficient but not great
than necessary would be satisfied without incarceration.
Mr. Brown is 42 years old, married to Rebecca and they are the parents of two young children, ages 5 (Ben) 2 (Sarah). Until now, Mr. Brown, as well as his family has enjoyed an exemplary reputation in this community, both for their public service and
their charity. This has been strongly attested to by the volume and content of the letters the Court has received in support of Mr. Brown.
It is respectfully submitted and requested that Mr. Brown not be incarcerated. A sentence of probation with significant community service as its principal requirement would seem to satisfy the requirements of Title 18, Section 3553. Although he has no law license, a position (pro bono) with the Eastern Missouri Legal Services Office would benefit the community, as well as himself. Under such an arrangement Mr. Brown could assist staff lawyers, however, could not advise clients, could not appear in court or perform any other function ordinarily done by an attorney. This type of activity has been approved in the past for lawyers who have been disbarred and in fact has been encouraged.
(Randy Turner's new book, Newspaper Days, is available at Amazon.com.)